New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday closed a contempt plea against a Chennai-based professor after he apologised for threatening senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who is representing the Muslim parties in the Ayodhya land dispute case.

The development comes a day after Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi indicated the daily hearings in the case, which began from August 6, are likely to be over by October 18.

Earlier, N Shanmugham, the professor, had written to Rajeev Dhavan, threatening him to withdraw from the case, forcing the senior lawyer to file a contempt plea in the top court. In the letter, Shanmugham wrote that Hindus will never forgive Dhavan for his role in the case. He further wrote that if Dhavan has a conscience, he should recuse himself from the case, go back home and wonder what his fate will be.

In his plea, Dhavan told the top court that he received the latter on August 14. He also mentioned that a clerk from his legal team was facing threat from clerks of other lawyers because Dhavan was appearing for the Muslim side.

In the court today, however, when pulled up by the CJI, Shanmugham tendered an apology for his conduct. Appearing for Dhavan, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that the former did not want to pursue the matter further but wanted it to be a message for everyone.

The over seven decades-long Ayodhya land dispute case is currently being heard by a five-judge Constitution bench of the SC, which is headed by the CJI. Thursday was the 29th day of hearing in the case.